RTÉ’s Marie Crowe on breaking down barriers for women in sports


Broadcaster Marie Crowe Pic Brian McEvoy

Marie Crowe is a regular fixture onscreen and the airwaves with her analysis of sports from soccer to golf.

She presents Game On, a sports radio show Monday to Friday on RTÉ 2FM. But she became a household name this summer as she presented RTE’s historic UEFA Women’s Euro 2022.

VIP Magazine caught up with the mum of three to chat about her career so far, being a working mam and ignoring negativity.

Marie Crowe, Evanne Ni Chuilinn Pic; VIPIreland

Hi Marie, how are you keeping?

Busy out. Just in the morning, making sure I get all three lads to school. This morning was tough, we almost missed school. We all slept in. We were so busy yesterday. I was working and the boys were all off at matches, their own in the morning and then we went to watch Shamrock Rovers play so everyone was a bit wrecked.

School runs are never fun. You have a busy work schedule and three boys – 10-year-old Timmy, eight-year-old Billy and six-year-old Davie. How do you juggle it all?

It can be tough but I’m lucky because I love what I do because I work in sports. And my boys are really sporty so their extracurricular activities are all sports. So I’m really interested in watching them play soccer or football or hurling or rugby. So it doesn’t feel like a sport, I want to be there. So that helps. It can be difficult and I get tired. I probably don’t do anything else except go to work and bring them where they need to go. But I love it. Going to watch them play football or hurling is my favourite thing to do, anyway.

Now you’re working with Healthy Lunch Heroes. Is that something you’re passionate about?

It is just really important that the boys eat well. But they’re really busy. The fact that they’re getting this information in school and they are encouraged to make the right choices is really helpful. They take that with them when they come home and make more healthy choices.

Another thing you’re passionate about is empowering girls and women in sports.

I was really lucky when I was growing up that I had the opportunity to play lots of sports. I only have boys but when I bring them up to their training there are girls there too. I train the under-sevens but the girls are there too. I train them both together. It’s really important for them to see girls playing sports. They can see the Irish women’s soccer team, the camogie final, the ladies’ football, and the hockey team. They can see that there are pathways there for them, just as much for the girls as there are for the boys. I didn’t have that growing up. I only had Sonia O’Sullivan, if I was lucky. I didn’t even know that women’s soccer existed until I was 11 or 12. It’s not that way now, we can watch them on our TV. It means that sport is there for girls just as much as it boys.

Broadcaster Marie Crowe Pic Brian McEvoy

It’s not just getting women on the pitch, it’s also about seeing that representation in the commentary booth.

It’s improving all the time. When I was starting out there were very few women on TV. Clare MacNamara was one. Joanne, Evanne and Jacqui came along but I want to see more. I love turning on Sky Sports and seeing all the panels. Previously when I would hear a female voice on the panel my ears would prick up but that’s not the case anymore. It’s become normal now. It’s like Joy Neville with refereeing she always said when a female referee wasn’t news anymore she would have done her job. And I think we’re getting there with female referees.

Of course, this summer you were at the helm of the UEFA Women’s Euro coverage on RTÉ. What was that like?

It was amazing. It is the kind of thing you dream of when you’re growing up. For one thing, you’re presenting a major tournament but you’re also presenting a women’s tournament, which is mindblowing in itself. We’re at a point now where the national broadcaster is committed to showing women’s sports. It was a brilliant experience. I was on with Vera Pauw one night, I respect her so much as a trailblazer. It was incredible. Once you do something once, there’s no going back. That’s the standard now.

Tell us how you got to this point.

I was working in print for a long time in The Sunday Independent. I loved it. Then UTV Ireland opened and I decided to give it a go. That, of course, didn’t last. So I was without a job. And then I went to freelance in RTÉ, luckily enough it just went well. Freelancing is hard. I had three little boys at the time, they were only small. I had just given birth to Davie in September and UTV Ireland was gone by Christmas. It was hard. But I worked and eventually I got the gig presenting Game On with Donncha [O’Callaghan] and Ruby [Walsh] from there, once I got that presenting work under my belt, I started getting approached for television work. It is a bit like everything. A lot of hard work goes a long way.

Obviously, the downside is the negative comments. How do you deal with that?

I work in 2FM so I see all the text messages come in so I can see what people are saying about me. Often when people don’t agree with me when they text in they don’t use my name, they say “That woman“ or “That lady“. When Ursula got the abuse, I was in shock because it was just vulgar abuse. I felt so bad for her and I think she was so right to call them out. I hope people think before they speak now. It’s one thing to have an opinion about a match or a goal, but these were personal comments about her accent and stuff like that. It always seems to be women targeted. I try not to pay attention to it, but I understand why Ursula spoke out about it. They were abusing her. It was pure targeted abuse. Ursula is brilliant at her job and the fact she is able to do her job as well as she does is incredible. And she’s expecting her baby any day now.

Marie was talking to VIP Magazine as Healthy Heroes Lunch Club kicks off its 10th year. The programme offers children the opportunity to foster valuable leadership, teamwork and communication skills, all while learning to change their eating habits for the better.


Source link

What is your reaction?

In Love
Not Sure

You may also like

Comments are closed.